The automotive industry is facing multiple challenges to meet the goals of the European Green Deal. It needs to produce new, high-performance but lightweight materials and decrease the dependencies on imported raw materials while creating a sustainable economy for the future. How do you solve this puzzle? SALEMA partners see the solution in aluminium. This lightweight, cost-effective and fully recyclable metal can meet the highest technical requirements and is ready for mass production.

Aluminium is not a new solution in cars. Around 15% of all parts are made from aluminium in large scale production cars, while this number is higher than 50% in the case of electric vehicles. And the demand for aluminium for automotive use is growing every year. So the European automotive sector needs reliable aluminium sources, that are not dependent on foreign critical raw material imports.

The SALEMA project designed and produced novel aluminium alloys with minimal critical raw material content (silicon and magnesium), or by integrating scrap metal recycling. The suitability and performance of these new aluminium alloys was demonstrated through four pilot actions and five demonstrators. The integration of scrap metal recycling is essential to create a sustainable circular economy and will serve as a reliable source for high-quality alloys in the future.

16 partners from six European countries joined forces because, we believe, driving towards a green automotive industry starts with lightweight cars made of aluminium.


SALEMA implemented and validated a fully circular economy model:

  • Proving the concept for aluminium & car manufacturing industry
  • Opening a new era of sustainable aluminium manufacturing

  • SALEMA combined expertise from across the aluminium value chain:

  • Research & technology
  • Metal & automotive industry
  • Scrap & recycling

  • SALEMA’s approach and achievements support Europe’s goals:

  • Reduce imported primary & critical raw materials (CRM) use
  • Reduce future mobility & industry environmental impacts
  • Alloy design

    SALEMA devised a methodology and designed 31 alloy 'recipes':

  • With more recycled aluminium
  • Or with less critical raw materials (silicon / magnesium)
  • Predicted their performance in typical manufacturing processes
  • SALEMA tested the new high-recycled / low CRM alloys:

  • Microstructure
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Thermal & mechanical behaviour
  • SALEMA selected 10 new alloys as suitable for:

  • High-pressure die-casting
  • Stamping (hot & cold)
  • Extrusion
  • SALEMA’s design methodology benefits future research and learning:

  • Overall methodology
  • Criticality & processability indexes
  • Performance prediction
  • Improved recycling

    SALEMA developed sorting technology to boost end-of-life aluminium scrap recovery:

  • Multi-sensor, real-time scrap measurement
  • LIBS, laser-induced breakdown spectrometry of composition
  • Novel AI algorithm fuses data, instructs robot scrap pickers
  • SALEMA extracted 4 qualities of aluminium scrap from end-of-life-vehicle shredded scrap:

  • Defined optimal sorting thresholds
  • Supplied SALEMA partners for further project activities

  • SALEMA proved successful real-time separation of targeted aluminium alloys in scrap:

  • Expand (local) markets for recyclers
  • Reduce waste export, CRM import & environmental impact
  • SALEMA defined pre-smelting treatment of end-of-life scrap for high-quality aluminium:

  • Pre-heating burns off organic material (dirt / coatings)
  • Improves melting efficiency, dross formation, metallic yield
  • Maximises efficiency & profitability of remelting
  • Demonstrators

    SALEMA showed can increase recycled content in alloys and keep high-level performance of components:

  • Competitive, lighter weight
  • Meet safety, strength and production requirements
  • Lower criticality & carbon footprint due to high recycling rate
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